The Secret to Print Consistency
The point where all of the components of the printing press come together, where precision is most necessary, is where the doctor blade touches the anilox roll. It is at that moment when the amount of ink that needs to be transferred to the plate to be delivered is applied. There is very little margin of error when the doctor blade meets the anilox, which is why it is essential to consider whether or not you are getting what you need from your doctor blades.
One of the most typical questions in the printing and coating industries is that of what doctor blade is necessary for use with a particular application. Because each application is different, however, the doctor blade criteria changes along with that. While this post does contain some generalized information, it is specifically intended to address the criteria that is required for the brown box printing industry in regards to doctor and containment blades.
There are two important factors that need to be addressed in order to make an informed decision regarding your blade choice. The first factor is the profile of the blade. A beveled edge is a critical component. It is necessary to use a beveled edge so that, when the doctor blade touches the anilox, it provides good doctrination. In other words, it will allow for immediate startup and production.
The second factor to be considered is the quality of the material that blade is composed of. The most durable and high-performing blades are made of ultra high molecular weight (UHMW) polyethylene material like the original doctor blades that were designed in the early seventies. It is a high-bearing grade material, meaning that it should have a long life and hold together very well along the way.
The problems that come from skipping over these two important factors may not immediately be evident, but time will tell the whole story. If you reflect on the considerable cost of the initial investment into your machine and its components, it is a relatively small cost to choose quality blades.
In the brown box printing industry, it is essential to have very good depth of color. Focusing on the two factors covered here will assist you in that goal, as well as give you a better return on your doctor blade investment. The blade may be a small piece of the printing process, but it makes a very big difference in your finished product.
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